A qualitative study of the self-reported beliefs and behaviors of graduates of three doctoral programs in adult education
This study consisted of qualitative interviews with eight recent graduates of doctoral programs in adult education from each of three different universities (a total of twenty-four respondents). The question that was addressed by this study is: "What are the shared beliefs and behaviors of those who have completed doctoral studies in adult education."The respondents to this study gave forceful support to the argument that adult education is a practice-oriented field. Their responses consistently focused around the practical. They were interested in research for the applications that it would give them for their practice. They were interested in teaching methods. They wanted to see fewer administrative and delivery barriers to adult education. They mentioned empowerment and application as purposes of adult education. In general, they viewed adult education as a field of practice that related directly to what they were doing to educate adults and they were really more interested in teaching methodologies and other practical information than in theoretical foundations. This orientation was reinforced by the overwhelming support for Malcolm Knowles as an author who has had a great influence on their development as adult educators.